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  1. Beliefs in society Revision pack Exam: 21 st Jan 2011 2:00 pm – 1 1/2 hours (40%)
  2. Theories of religion Neo-Marxism A Structuralist theory inspired by Marxism which updates these ideas for the modern day Karl Marx Marx believe religion could never be used by the working class to change society. It is part of the system which distorts reality Neo-Marxist response Antonio Gramsci Was impressed by Hegemony the control that institutions have over peoples consciousness (ideas) Working class consciousness For a communist revolution to happen the working class need to take their problems to the church who could challenge the dominant ruling class ideology Otto Maduro Agrees with Gramsci that religion could be used as a final resort against the dominant ruling class. This will happen if the working class go to the churches. Examples are found in Poland and Latin America Liberation Theology Created in the 50’s and 60’s as a religious justification for the liberation of oppressed people. Examples Father Camilo Torres
  3. Theories of religion Feminism A Structuralist theory which says religion is bad because it is a patriarchal institution that reflects and continues the inequality between men and women. Patriarchy The dominance of men over women in all aspects of society Evidence of Patriarchy Religious organisations   Men hold all position of power in religious organisations. Women often not allowed to be priests in Judaism and Catholic church. Places of worship Women often excluded from places of worship in Islam and Judaism Sacred texts Women often depicted as sinners or subordinate to men like in the creation story, or Mary Magdalene. Religious laws and customs Women often expected to act and dress differently to men. Examples are women in Islam and the use of the veil. Counter evidence Over 6000 years ago women depicted as powerful mother nature types The Church of England has permitted women’s ordination into the priesthood since 1992, 1/5 of all priests are now female. Women in evangelical churches use religion to maintain positions of power Helen Watson Argues that many Muslim women see the veil as a symbol of freedom as it allows them enter public buildings and attend university. Without the veil they wouldn’t be welcomed.
  4. Conservative force Functionalism Religion doesn’t change society but that is a good thing because religion is crucial to society functioning and it being healthy Marxism Religion doesn’t change society, this is a bad thing because religion is a tool used by the bourgeoisie to exploit the Proletariat Feminism Religion doesn’t change society, this is a bad thing because religion is used by men to dominate over women in social life Evaluation Pro: Religion does have positive functions which help keep society together. Con : They ignore the reality that religion has been a source of conflict and division Con: Marxism and Feminism say religion doesn’t change this to preserve inequality Evaluation Pro: Highlights the reality that some religion treat men and women differently. Con: Not all religions are patriarchal – evangelical, Sikhism, Buddhism Con: Functionalism says religion is good for society Evaluation Pro: Religion can be divisive and oppressive. Con: Ignores the functional aspects that religion gives to its believers Con: Feminism says not oppressive to working class but women.
  5. Radical force Neo-Marxism Religion is a radical force because Gramsci and Maduro say religion could be used to change society if the working class go to them for support Max Weber 1. The Protestant Ethic The idea that Calvinists believers no longer work to survive but as a calling to get into god’s good graces 2. The Spirit of Capitalism To spend money on yourself is frowned upon so believers reinvest money in their businesses 3. Social change The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism actually change society economically The Black civil rights movement This movement in the 50’s and 60’s changed racial segregation in America. Christianity and Martin Luther King were crucial in gaining public support for the movement which ended segregation in 1964. Steve Bruce – Religion and social protest movements Churches and meeting places were sanctuaries and prayers and hymns a source of unity the black clergy were able to shame whites into changing the law by appealing to their shared Christian values of equality. The Christian Right This is a politically and morally conservative, protestant fundamentalist movement. They wish to make abortion, homosexuality and divorce illegal. They campaign for traditional family values and gender roles and for creationism to be taught in schools. Main problem: They go against mainstream American liberal, democratic values
  6. Inclusive Less exclusive than sect but doesn’t appeal to all of society Exclusive Inclusive M embership People who have moved away from meta-narratives to the power within themselves Those who believe the original message has been lost Poor and oppressed Higher classes due to conservative ideology A ttracts Scientology Transcendental meditation Methodists Baptists Jehovah Witness Evangelical Christianity Roman Catholic Church Church of England E xamples Accepts wider society Accepts wider society Hostile to wider society Accepts wider society R elationship to society Low Some restrictions but less than sects High Low C ommitment Small Medium Small Large S ize of organisation Cult Niebuhr (1929) Denomination Niebuhr (1929) Sect Troeltsch (1912) Church Troeltsch (1912) Feature
  7. Social class and religion Marxism It’s the Proletariat (working class) that suffer from a distorted reality. Class and religion are highly important because religion is being used by one class to dominate another. Class is wrong and religion helps to maintain it. Neo-Marxism Religion not just a part of the system of oppression, it can be independent of it if utilised by the working class against the ruling class. Class and religion not opposed like Marx says. Functionalism Functionalists don’t believe classes are being exploited by religion therefore social classes aren’t inherently wrong. Max Weber Class and religion are important, Calvinists through their protestant work ethic created the industrial class in other words the Bourgeoisie. Upper class and religion The most likely group to be religious and belong to traditional religions like churches because of their conservative ideology Middle class and religion A diverse group who attend churches, denominations and NAM’s. Likely to be spiritual shoppers due to spending power Working class and religion Those who are poor and oppressed who are religious because it offers them comfort and solace in the afterlife. Those that ignore religion because it doesn’t represent or address the problems they face now
  8. Globalisation and religion Globalisation Definition: The way in which we seem to live in an increasingly ‘ shrinking world’, where societies are becoming more interconnected and dependant on each other. Meera Nandas (2008) God and Globalisation Key idea: Globalisation can change religion. Modern Weberian examples Religion can change society Capitalism in East Asia Redding (1990) argues Post-Confucian values such as hard work, self discipline, frugality and a commitment to education and self-improvement have been like a protestant ethic in Singapore, South Korea. Pentecostalism in Latin America Peter Berger (2003) says this movement is similar to Calvinism in the 16th century. Its values of frugality and hard work make Pentecostalism in line with modern capitalism Pentecostalism in Africa It has shown its ability to adapt and include local traditional beliefs and surpass them. This has led to a new ‘africanisation’ of Christianity rather the total annihilation of old beliefs 1. India more successful due to globalisation but more religious than ever before (unusual). 2. Nanda’s says this is because Hinduism has adopted to a new Globalised (successful) India. 3. Hinduism now says you can be successful and be a good Hindu.
  9. Arguments for secularisation Definition The process whereby religious beliefs, practices and institutions lose significance (Bryan Wilson). Church attendance Bryan Wilson says attendance has dropped from 40% in 1851 to 10-15 in the 1960’s. This is projected to fall to 4.7% by 2015. Religious institutions Churches had an important social role in public life with regards to law and order and education. These responsibilities have been given to other institutions. Even the number of clergy has declined despite a population explosion. Heelas and Woodhead – Spiritual revolution thesis Study found 7.9% found in churches and chapels 1.6% doing spiritual stuff Conclusion Spiritual revolution not happened therefore secularisation is occurring. Issues What kind of decline? Religion can be declining on a societal level and not within individuals and vice versa. What about NRM’s and NAM’s these seem to be rising are they religions? Religion maybe declining in the west but for the rest of the world this isn’t the case. Religious beliefs More people say they are religious than attend church. Robin Gill et al argues that even religious belief is declining.
  10. Explanations for secularisation Max Weber Around the 16 th century the western world started to move towards Rationalisation – the process of thought that requires ldeas to be justified and thought out. This way of thinking replaced religious thought for many people. For the most part Europe was dominated by the Medieval catholic view that the world is magical and mystical A technological worldview Means we look for a scientific or technological explanation for why things happen rather than a religious or supernatural explanation. Structural differentiation According to Parsons institutions like religion performed many roles in small communities such as education, spreading news and providing comfort and support. Parsons says these have been taken over by specialist institutions like education and the media. This leads to the disengagement of religion as it becomes disconnected from society and privatised to the home Social and cultural diversity The move from pre-industrial to industrial society has brought about the decline of community and therefore the function of religion. Religious diversity Peter Berger argues for a plurality of life worlds , where choice is available uncertainty and confidence in the truth decline. This rationalisation has led to Disenchantment - where the magic and mystery of the world have been unveiled and the natural order of the world has been revealed through science.